Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Pushing Daisies: "Dummy"

TV ReviewsAll of our TV reviews in one convenient place.

Hopefully, those who couldn't take the whimsy of last week's Pushing Daisies premiere stayed away this week, because, had they watched this episode, chances are their heads would have exploded, spewing rainbows and glitter all over the couch. It's becoming abundantly clear that this is going to be a love-it-or-hate-it kind of show, and those who do love it most likely have a high tolerance for cute.

The big question after last week's episode seemed to be "how in the hell are they going to sustain this for a whole season?" and this episode basically laid out the formula. Despite the candy colors and musical numbers (more on that in a minute), it looks like Daisies is basically shaking out as a procedural of all things, with couple of extended arcs to tie the season together. It's a workable enough hybrid, though the weirdness of this week's mystery overshadowed any meatier developments.

Things started out promising enough with the whole "the dummy did it" revelation. (As an aside, I can't wait to see what next week's face-mangling is going to be.) Things quickly got a little too Wonka-esque though, and I mean that in the bad Burton/Depp way. I can't decide if the creepiness of the Dandy Lion car company was intentional or just a horribly misguided attempt at eccentricity. Seriously, big-eyed dandelion faces are going to haunt me for the next couple of days. If it was meant to be creepy, that's actually pretty cool, and a nice antidote to the sugar-rush of the rest of the show, but it's also problematic. I found myself so distracted by campy-shouting-CEO-guy and bulimic-dandelion-girl and simulaid genocide that I had trouble following the not-that-hard-to-figure-out "mystery." The show is still new and different enough that the random touches—like the villain delivering his expositional monologue to an audience unable to hear him through body bags and a glass windshield—make up for the lack of intrigue, but I think I'm gonna need a little more meat to my murder-solving if I'm gonna keep caring.

Now onto the biggest what-the-fuck moment of the evening (and man, there are a lot of them in this show). I strongly suspected there would be a musical element to Daisies, but I assumed it would be in a Buffy-style one-off. Not so. Kristin Chenoweth busting out with "Hopelessly Devoted To You" in the second act was not what I expected, but that didn't stop me from clapping my hands and squealing like the musical theater nerd I am. And the dancing with the dog? That, combined with her earlier slapstick as she smacked into the wall while spying on Ned and Chuck, rocketed Olive to the top of my favorite character list. Sure, it was random, and a little awkward, but it's looking like random is pretty much the name of the game with this show, so I say bring on the song and dance.


This episode also answered some of the technical questions brought up by last week's episode, mainly whether or not Chuck and Ned can touch each other with some kind of protective barrier. Clearly we're in for a season of various body-condoms: rubber gloves, plastic bags, etc.

Overall, the second episode did a pretty good job maintaining the quality of the premiere, both visually and thematically, but the show still hasn't found the right balance of random and clever. I mean, there's purposeful quirk (like Emerson's knitting habit), and then there's weird for the sake of weird (Bernard's hobby was catching butterflies—ugh!). Hopefully next week we'll get a little meat and potatoes along with dessert.


Grade: B

Stray Observations

—If I'm going to keep doing this every week, I need some new adjectives: "quirky," "whimsical," and "cute" can only take me so far. Perhaps a modification of the word "cute" to connote hyper-cuteness—kewte, perhaps? Or Qute?


—Oh my GOD Chuck, shut the hell up with the last requests thing. People are trying to work here.

—Is it my imagination, or is Ned a little thuggish-ruggish? Seriously, "That's how I roll," "That's not how we do"—apparently men who wear massive amounts of blush and bake pies for a living need to compensate with some tough-guy speak.


—For real, Olive smacking into the wall was the best thing I've seen all week.

—This week's pie: peach.


Share This Story